I wrote a book once. Took years to complete and its still not published – sigh. Actually, if the truth be told, Harper Collins told me it still requires a tiny bit of editing, but not much – I’m a great writer 😉
As my old school chum and critically acclaimed author Justin Sheedy can attest, getting your first book onto the shelves requires an infinite amount patience, gallons of perspiration and the perseverance of a marathon runner. Aside from that, whilst starving for your craft is a noble pursuit, the hungry whining of five children means that most of the waking day is spent in paid employment instead of stalking would be publishers.
With the prospect of becoming noticed in a sea of hopefuls being somewhat akin to that horrible old saying about needles and haystacks, I turned to my friend and Social Media expert, Heidi Allen for advice. After baffling me with blogs, flummoxing me with FaceBook, tormenting me with Twitter and stumping me with SEO, she came up with three pieces of advice to help me ‘get out there.’
1.) Use Facebook for something other than posting funny pictures and status updates of the Souths game.
2.) Twitter can convey a message, even if it is restricted to 140 characters.
3.) Weblogs are a great way to start writing and get noticed.
So, on the 10th July 2010 as I sat in the park and watched my son referee a few games of junior Rugby League, I wrote a little story about my experience. Booralee became my first foray into online publishing and although I only got four comments on the web site, many others mentioned how much they enjoyed the post to me verbally.
Family and friends had been engaged 😉
I received plenty of comments on my second post (although looking back I think some of them may have been spam), which lead me to become a little bit cocky. The next article I produced was a commentary on why people should embrace Social Media.
Me, the little upstart who had only just graduated from YouTube kindergarten, writing a blog about the importance of social media?!? What an ego! Hey, it was incredibly well-researched and all my conclusions could be verified. It even got re-tweeted six times! It was a great piece of journalism, but I wasn’t a journalist, and the old adage of writing what you know came crashing down upon me.
In August 2010 I invented iDad and for almost two years now his calamitous and cringe-worthy lessons in life have entertained a growing audience of followers. In November 2010, our hero was actually picked up and published in Bare Essentials magazine. Notoriety at last 🙂
Currently my website is interspersed with the misadventures of iDad,
teasers from my book – Pine Gap,
and drawings from my son the budding artist.
Today is the second anniversary of the birth of my blog and I can proudly say that in the last two years I have had almost 300,000 visitors from all over the globe. Check out the map below and the list on the side to see where all these wonderful people are coming from. I even made the top 1000 list on ClustrMaps, a site that tracks your daily visitors.
I have been criticized, lauded, tweeted, insulted and re-blogged countless times so far (that’s me under the nine-ways of hangman and above the exploding whale). And even though there have been plenty of peaks and troughs as I went through phases in my life where I just could not find the mental or emotional capacity to right I have, by and large, enjoyed my hobby.
So, in the words of the great Indian mystic Apu Nahasapeemapetilon,
“Thank-you. Come again.”